Zarif: Security, stability in IORA region must emanate from within

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that the flourishing of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean requires the security and stability of the entire region.

Addressing the 3rd Blue Economy Conference of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Thursday, the Minister went on to say that “The seas and oceans are our future. More than three billion people on earth depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for sustenance.”

“The Indian Ocean has enormous resources, which need to be explored and tapped for the benefit of our communities. Blue economy—as an ocean-driven growth model—is a systemic approach aimed at fostering growth by upholding environmental sustainability and social inclusion”, he reiterated.

The high ranking official underlined that “Issues related to the oceans and their social dimensions are clearly linked, inter-related, and need to be considered in a comprehensive and holistic manner. In this context, human well-being and the livelihood of coastal communities—which are directly affected by food security and maritime security—must be our primary focus.”

Iranian Foreign minister elsewhere made the remark that also, issues such as maritime tourism, the involvement of the private sector in maritime infrastructure, port networks, financial support, and the threat of marine-born plastic debris should be further explored.

In another part of his remark, Zarif addressed Indian Ocean Rim Association and reiterated, “for IORA, the implementation of the Blue Economy to catalyze ocean-driven economic growth is directly linked to threats, challenges and opportunities in the Indian Ocean. As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has aptly observed, “If the Blue Economy is to guide our economics in future, then we should use our sea to promote friendship and curb tensions in the region; respect freedom of navigation and cooperate through the mechanisms of IORA.”

The Indian Ocean region faces many challenges including piracy, human trafficking, drug, weapons and wildlife smuggling, illegal fishing, pollution, and the unlawful exploitation of marine resources, the Iranian FM further noted, adding that "security and stability in the Indian Ocean are vitally important for all of us."

"The alarming rise of extremist unilateralism, contempt for the rule of law, the resurrection of gunboat diplomacy and unlawful coercive measures against civilian populations—amounting to economic terrorism—are the greatest challenges not only to the IORA region but also to our collective global achievements over the previous many decades," he added

The senior diplomat concluded his speech by emphasizing that the flourishing of the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean requires the security and stability of the entire region. “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that this must emanate from within—through inclusion and cooperation among the States of the region— and cannot be purchased from outside, which would only lead to further military build-ups, rivalry and exclusion.”

Zarif announced Iran’s readiness to cooperate in any collective arrangement to this end.

The third meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) started on Thursday morning with the presence of Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The meeting is attended by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and a number of ministers of the member states and parties to the dialogue.

The previous two conventions of the body were held in Mauritius in 2015 and in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2017.

South Africa, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Bangladesh, Kenya, Mauritius (headquarters), Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and the Seychelles are the main members of the organization while China, Japan, Egypt, the United Kingdom and France are parties to the dialogue.

The purpose of the meeting is to utilize and exploit the Indian Ocean's capacities in the economic, transportation and resource sectors with environmental considerations.

The slogan of the summit is to develop a sustainable maritime economy and make the most of the opportunities in the Indian Ocean.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday night, met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Abdul Mumen and Speaker of the Bangladeshi Parliament Shirin Chaudhry on Wednesday to discuss ways to develop bilateral relations and review the Islamic world issues and international issues.

News Code 190786

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